The Death of PineTreePolitics.com?

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Publius V. Publicola
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 11:59am
The Death of PineTreePolitics.com?

I have been a reader of Pine Tree Politics since its founding in November 2008. Along with As Maine Goes, I found it to be a wonderful resource for the goings on when it came to Maine politics. I was disappointed when Matt Gagnon announced that he would go on hiatus from writing on the site due to his new employment with Sen. Collins in Washington, D.C.

Since then, and just before his hiatus, Pine Tree Politics merged with the blog known as Augusta Insider. I personally thought this was a terrible idea, as I found the writing and authors of Augusta Insider less than remarkable (to be fair, I think Derek Viger does a good job). But then PTP started subjecting its readers to articles written by the likes of Anna Trevorrow, Cynthia Dill (yes, that Cynthia Dill), and Mike Elliott. I started checking PTP less often, but now I have noticed that the last new posting occured on December 17, 2010. Odd for a website that was previously posting almost every other day. At first I chalked this up to the holiday season, but that has long since come and gone.

Is PTP dead and the Augusta Insiders are just standing around waiting to pull the plug on Matt Gagnon's brain child?

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Resisting the urge to write

Resisting the urge to write bad jokes about .38 Specials and euthanasia....

Interesting question, Publius. Does anyone have information on the site's prognosis?

Mackenzie Andersen
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Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
I was a contributor to

I was a contributor to Augusta Insider and submitted articles critical of legislation that chartered corporations and used the taxpayers as involuntary investors and promised- in advance bail out funds. I was writing about last years LD1, which chartered a mutual funds investment corporation. The bill was sponsored by Peter Mills. During the primary Peter Mills ran big ads on both Pine Tree Poltics and The Augusta Insider. I give Derek Viger credit for continuing to publish my articles that now had a big banner promoting Peter Mills at the top of the page.

But I thought Derek Viger was had by Mat Gagnon in the "merger" scenario and I have always wondered what Gagnon offered Viger to cause him to forgo his independence and control of his own publication.

Gagnon was not interested in publishing my articles- which he never directly said - just gave me the run around until I figured it out for my self.

I re-posted the articles, which were formerly published on The Augusta Insider and consequently deleted from the so-called "merge: with Pine tree Politcs, on a special page on my blog. The Augusta Insider articles

Can't say I will miss Pine Tree Politics but I did miss Augusta Insider. From what I read of Pine Tree Politcs- I found the substance a bit fluffy .

Publius V. Publicola
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 11:59am
Mackenzie - I never read any

Mackenzie - I never read any of your articles on Augusta Insider (I found the layout far too difficult to navigate), but I did enjoy your post about state capitalism and your nephew's column in Down East magazine.

I do agree that the substance of Matt's posts on PTP was a bit fluffy - but it was entertaining -- and very accurate when he made predictions. I guess we will have to see what happens in the long run. It's sad to see a once great source of information disappear.

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Future of Pine Tree Politics

Future of Pine Tree Politics Questioned
Submitted by Al Diamon on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 10:16am.

Things have been quiet at the Pine Tree Politics Web site, lately. Too quiet.

There hasn’t been a fresh posting on PTP since mid-December, leading to online speculation that the site is dead.

It’s not, but it isn’t looking too healthy, either.

[url=http://www.downeast.com/media-mutt/2011/january/pine-politics-questioned...

Publius V. Publicola
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 11:59am
Thank you for sharing that

Thank you for sharing that article, Naran. I would have missed it otherwise.

Nice of the columnists/editors to let us know. But Al's piece doesn't explain what happened to Aaron Prill, Garrett Murch, and the anonymous "Editor". Too bad. I was a fan of PolitickerME back in the day and was sad to see that go as well. PTP helped fill the void created by the New York Observer's shutdown of PolitickerME.

Gagnon
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Joined: 01/16/2010 - 9:32pm
Fluffy? Covering a political

Fluffy? Covering a political horse race includes talking about a lot of things that might not be earth shattering revelations, but happen to be what people are talking about. Discussing those things is not "fluffy" - a tad pedestrian, perhaps, but not fluffy. If you mean I didn't beat my readers over the head with long treatises about political agenda driven topics like why the United States should move back to a gold standard, and that made the coverage "fluffy", then so be it. My goal wasn't to create an advocacy site - it was a political news, information and analysis site - and very little of what I covered or wrote while there could be deemed to be "superficial" simply because the subject matter wasn't what you would have written.

I would accept that characterization if I had not simultaneously been breaking political stories ahead of the traditional press on a routine basis. My coverage was a running anthology of what people were talking about, interspersed with whatever inside news I could uncover from 700 miles away.

As for your question... as far as I understand, PTP is not dead. Last I knew (since I can't have anything to do with it anymore) Derek and company are putting together a couple people of substance to take it over, and hopefully it should re-engage in the Maine political scene. Who they are and all those logistics, I honestly don't know and you'd have to ask him. But that's what I had been told last I talked with them.

As for Mackenzie - she was contacting me about contributing during quite literally one of the most inconvenient times possible (of no fault of her own) last year, as I was working on 37 national Senate races, and that particular time was a nightmare for me, time wise. It was just "one of those weeks" (more like couple of weeks), and I had trouble getting back to her frequently to get her set up. Her reaction and approach as that happened (and I was pretty up front and apologetic about it) gave me quite a bit of pause about bringing her on board... something that was justified when she engineered a nonsensical theory that I asked Derek to delete her Augusta Insider articles and began trailing after each of us in comment sections, not only on PTP but other blogs and publications as well. Any interest I may have had disappeared at that point.

I certainly don't hold any hard feelings - but it was evident it wasn't going to be a good fit at that point. And, for the record, I wasn't the one that made the final call on that one - I left it up to Derek and company, so the opinion was shared.

In any event - as I no longer have anything to do with PTP, I can't answer your question with absolute certainty, but last I knew and last I had heard it was a strong possibility you were going to see it rise up like a Phoenix some time soon. Last I talked to them, they felt pretty optimistic about that. For any solid, "real" answers, though, you'd have to ask Derek.

Gagnon
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Joined: 01/16/2010 - 9:32pm
PVP, as for Aaron Prill, I

PVP, as for Aaron Prill, I know he has always had a lot of other commitments, and likely continues to have them. Garrett stopped writing when he became Jason Levesque's Campaign Manager, and after the election he is taking care of post election stuff, starting a new job, etc - not the most writing friendly time. "Editor" stopped writing for a host of personal reasons which are unimportant to discuss.

It had always been my plan to cultivate a much more robust team of writers after the election was over, to insulate the site from this kind of "down time" - I had not foreseen myself so quickly having to be taken out of the loop, so to speak.

Just one of those things. I do trust that they'll be able to do something with it, though. Sure hope so - I know I want to see it active.

Publius V. Publicola
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Joined: 04/01/2010 - 11:59am
Matt - I certainly hope that

Matt - I certainly hope that Pine Tree Politics makes a comeback. I had secretly hoped you would take over as the anonymous Editor so we could continue to enjoy your insights and reporting. PTP is a valuable asset to Maine, and your leave from writing has left a great void in the reporting on PTP. You created a wonderful resource, and it would be a real shame to watch it die.

It would have been nice if someone has posted on the PTP explaining the reason for the sudden hiatus.

Gagnon
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Joined: 01/16/2010 - 9:32pm
PvP - thank you for your kind

PvP - thank you for your kind words.

I would have loved to have kept writing under some anonymous tag, but sadly I think that my writing style is far too distinct to not be noticed. I think that within the first couple articles I would have written, it would have been all too obvious who was writing them.

I agree it would be a real shame to see it die out, especially since I spent two years building it up into what had been for the better part of the last election cycle, the most read political blog in the state. But, the plans and names I saw potentially being a part of a handoff were very encouraging... so I have hopes that it will continue to be something.

Mackenzie Andersen
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Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
I'll hold with "Fluffy".

I'll hold with "Fluffy".

Peter
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Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
i concur with PVP...Fluffy

i concur with PVP...Fluffy Gagnon is the bomb!

Mackenzie Andersen
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Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
That is supposed to be

That is supposed to be "Fluffy Gagnon is Da Bomb!

The Maine View
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Joined: 06/21/2009 - 9:54am
As I stated to Al Diamon, I

As I stated to Al Diamon, I am no longer involved with PTP at this time. I am not involved with the transition to new management in any way. I would be happy to answer any questions anyone has about the site or otherwise I will answer what I can or direct you to someone you can answer your questions.

Mike Beardsley
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Joined: 01/26/2005 - 1:01am
RIP Pine Tree Politics. DOD:

RIP Pine Tree Politics. DOD: 1-24-2011 (last post )

In reality it died the day Matt Gagnon left 11-16-10, some would argue the death spiral started when "the merger" happened.

Ryan McCabe
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Joined: 11/20/2010 - 11:25am
Not so fast.......

Not so fast.......

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
First new content since

First new content since January! I knew there was a reason I didn't delete the bookmark.

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